Phoenix-area man, woman sentenced to 20 years in ‘horrific’ child abuse case
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) — A man and woman are set to spend decades behind bars in what prosecutors describe as a “horrific” case of child abuse and neglect. Keola Cachero Wimbish, 40, and Chloe Rae Sergent, 27, have each been sentenced to 20 years in prison followed by 10 years of supervised probation after pleading guilty to child abuse charges.
Warning: This report includes graphic details. Discretion is advised.
According to court paperwork, child welfare investigators took a young girl away from Wimbish and Sergent in Phoenix in December 2021. She was then brought to a hospital where doctors found a dozen broken bones, bruises and at least one deep cut exposing a bone. There was also evidence of burns. Several injuries were reportedly infected and doctors said she was malnourished.
After first blaming someone else for the abuse, documents say the girl later told investigators that Wimbish and Sergent forced her to lie. She then detailed extreme instances of abuse, telling police that Wimbish waterboarded her and set her on fire using alcohol. Per documents, she reported that Wimbish sexually abused her, hit her with a crowbar and hammer, and even had another child in the home strike her with a weapon. She also said Sergent broke her nose and burned her, and that both forced her to do drugs from a straw. Another person also reported seeing instances of abuse at the hands of Wimbish and Sergent.
In April of 2022, Glendale police arrested Wimbish and Sergent. Both told investigators they didn’t know how the girl got hurt before being booked into jail. They each entered guilty pleas earlier this summer.
“The abuse this child suffered at the hands of the people who were supposed to love and care for her is horrific,” Maricopa County Attorney Rachel Mitchell said in a news release announcing the sentencing. “I’m particularly grateful to this young victim who was willing to bravely tell her story. Thanks to the intervention of a caring relative, thorough investigation by police, and hard work by MCAO prosecutors, justice was done.”
Editor’s Note: To protect the victim, Arizona’s Family is not disclosing the relationship between the girl and her abusers.
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